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Making a difference to young lives

Share your passion

As an independent, not-for-profit arts organisation, we are proud to be delivering multi-faceted, life-changing programs, particularly for young people.

However, we recognise that it is only with your support that we can continue to develop and deliver transformative experiences so that future generations in this remote Australian community can grow, flourish and thrive.

Thank you to everyone who already supports our programme.

Please join us and, through a tax-deductable donation, make an important and lasting difference to young people’s lives; your donation will ignite a life long passion for music in them.

All donations are welcome whether they be small or large. Together all donations combine to make an amazing difference to the musical life of young people.

Please make your tax deductable donation today by clicking on the orange button below or via this link:
www.fourwinds.com.au/support/donate here. Thank you.

Leah Martin | Principal | Pambula Primary School

“Four Winds has provided our students with exposure to countless performances by world-class musicians, ensembles and other performers who they otherwise would never have seen.

To give such authentic learning opportunities to students in a rurally isolated setting, whether virtually or in person, is such a gift that is inspiring and enriching not only to their learning, but for their perception of what their world looks like.”

We are passionately committed to ensuring music is an integral part of young people’s education and to igniting a lifelong passion for music in them.

Our vision is to provide the best in music education for all students in the Four Winds area.

This amazing vision is being realised thanks to people like you who have donated funds to support the Four Winds ‘Create and Inspire’ program.

Thanks to the support of our generous donors, in the last 2 years, Four Winds has delivered music education programs to 5 schools and impacted up to 1,000 young lives each year. With your help, our aim is to deliver this every year.

9yr old AMELIE ZIINO reflects on some of the opportunities she has had at Four Winds.

“Four Winds invites young music students from all around our area to perform and participate in their wonderful programmes.

They bring world-class musicians to us to share their love and knowledge of music, extraordinary technique and talents.

It is beyond my imagination to be a part of these events and I am incredibly grateful that Four Winds believes in us.

We experience the excitement and thrill of performing in a great setting while learning from the most gifted musicians.

I had a great time performing with James Crabb, Four Winds’ Artistic Director at the first Four Winds Youth Music Festival….”

Image credits: Marg Hansen, Ben Marden Photography, Chris Sheedy

Supporting Emerging Artists

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If you have attended Easter Festivals at Four Winds over recent years you will have experienced young musicians from the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) performing on stage in their own right as well as collaborating with other Festival musicians from Australia and overseas.

Four Winds is working with ANAM to provide opportunities for emerging professional musicians beyond their formal education or training. The chance to come to Four Winds, either as a Resident or Festival Artist provides essential ‘real world experience’ as these wonderful musicians embark on their careers.

Four Winds commitment to emerging artists is not limited to ANAM musicians. The Youth Music Festival, coming up in November, is a great opportunity for young talented musicians to hone their skills via coaching and performance opportunities.

Investment in emerging artists is an area of our work which Four Winds, our partners such as ANAM, and many of our donors feel passionately about. It is such a wonderful investment in the future of Australian music and musicians.

If you would like to join us and our existing supporters to nurture the talents of tomorrow’s great musicians, please make a tax deductible donation to Four Winds by clicking here. Thank you.

Jackson Bankovic | Trombonist and Four Winds/ANAM Artist-in-Residence

‘This whole residency with Four Winds has been incredibly worthwhile for so many reasons.

Most importantly, it has been a huge refresh and reset going into the lead-up to my audition for the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra. It has been very busy but also really refreshed me in a way that’s never happened before.

Having the opportunity to be involved in our concerts beyond just performing is a new and valuable tool as well. The organising of programs, distributing flyers, advertising on the radio are all things that I’ve now had more experience of and I will feel more comfortable when I have to do it again…

This partnership, between the Australian National Academy of Music and Four Winds, is one that I truly feel is extremely mutually beneficial. I have gained so much from the experience of this residency and I feel like I have given to the community in return.’

‘What was really good for us was to learn about the business side of things and how to look after our own careers. For musicians the business side is not spoken about enough. It is not taught and it’s a huge problem. You have to be good at what you do but you also have to be able to sell what you do.’ Matthew Kneale, Four Winds/ANAM Artist-in-Residence, Arcadia Winds

Impact of the Residency Program

ACROSS 6 YEARS:

  • 30 YOUNG MUSICIANS soloists + ensembles in residence at Four Winds
  • they have DEVELOPED their MUSICAL and MANAGEMENT SKILLS
  • they’ve worked in the community: during EACH 2 WEEK RESIDENCY MUSICIANS VISIT LOCAL SCHOOLS and community venues (such as libraries), REACHING OVER 500 STUDENTS AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS per residency
  • ESTABLISHED ENSEMBLES (e.g. Arcadia Winds and Penny Quartet) have been invited to perform at the Four Winds Easter Festival alongside national and international artists and as a result of their time at Four Winds many have developed strong local links, for instance with South Coast Music Camp.

Supporting Teachers

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We hope you are enjoying reading about our wonderful music education program. Did you have an inspirational music teacher either in or outside school who ignited your love of music? In this ‘edition’ we are focusing on our work supporting teachers and music leaders to help them gain even more skills to lead music activities with young people.

We partner with amazing organisations such as the National Music Teacher Mentoring Program, Musica Viva and Sydney Youth Orchestra all of whom work with Four Winds to increase the skills of classroom teachers and music leaders so that they can confidently deliver music activities to young people of all ages.

It’s a vital part of our program because it provides continuity all year-round for young people’s music making. The work we do is made possible through partnerships and the generosity of our donors; thank you to everyone who is contributing.

Program Impact

Across 3 years, 6 qualified mentors have mentored 14 generalist primary school classroom teachers in 9 schools, reaching 333 students.

The late Richard Gill OAM leading an inspirational workshop for music leaders, with pre-schoolers in the Windsong Pavilion at Four Winds.

We support teachers…

….by providing them with professional development workshops that focus on growing their skills and providing ongoing hands-on guidance in building a music program. Primary teachers receive very little training to establish or develop skills and confidence in teaching music. This is just one of the reasons that students may miss out on music at school and why Four Winds is committed to filling the training gap to ensure we have access to great music leaders in our region into the future.

NATIONAL MUSIC TEACHER MENTORING PROGRAM (NMTMP) The late Richard Gill OAM was passionate about improving the quality of music education in classrooms around Australia and established the NMTM Program to do just that. The program pairs experienced music educators with generalist classroom teachers in order to build their skills and confidence, and better equip them to teach music.

Don’t take our word for it…here is a testimonial from a classroom teacher who has taken part in the program….

Katha Anderson | NMTMP Teacher Mentee | Bermagui Primary

“As a lover of music, the national teacher mentoring program caught my attention immediately.

I never could have foreseen the profound impact it would have on me professionally and on the group of students who were on the mentoring journey with me.

At the beginning of the process I had a group of engaged students who were eager to learn, but in the area of music-making they doubted their skills and abilities. Many were reticent to explore different sounds and styles and chose to sit back and watch instead. Throughout the process of the mentoring, they became confident and empowered. They learned that everyone can be a part of music and that music connects us, tells stories, strengthens our mindfulness skills and makes us feel healthy and alive.

Every single student became excited to make sounds and contribute to the glorious buzz we were creating! The smiles on their faces are something I won’t forget.

The mentoring program affected each of us involved. Every single student played a part: they were engaged in the process from start to finish; they were able to articulate their learning journey; they developed their skills of sharing, turn-taking and active listening; and they were invigorated with the music we were making. These are skills they’ll carry with them through life. As a professional, I have integrated my learnings into daily practice.

I now have confidence to teach music to all levels and engage students with diverse music knowledge and abilities. I am feeling very lucky to have this opportunity!”

Artists in Schools

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Enabled by an incredible range of support from individuals and partner organisations – all of whom want to share their passion for music – Four Winds is able to engage artists to work in schools, to bring singing and percussion activities to young people.

Singing and percussion are the fundamental building blocks of a life-long engagement in music. We are keen that all young people have the chance to ignite their passion for music by regularly taking part in these activities, particularly in school.

In 2018 we reached over 800 young people and we hope you enjoy reading about the experiences of the artists and the schools below.

We were able to deliver our 2018 program because of the support of many donors whose donations ranged from $20 to a large single sum which enabled a commission for the Youth Music Festival. All donations, regardless of amount, combine in the most incredible way to bring music to young people. Thank you!

Greg Sheehan

Geoffrey Badger

Greg Sheehan and Geoffrey Badger

GREG SHEEHAN | Four Winds Artist in Schools 2018 | Percussion

“When I was only four years old I saw a great drummer play in a band and that inspired me to begin a lifelong journey of learning to make magic through music.

After almost fifty years playing professionally I still have that same joyous feeling in hitting a drum and I love to be able to instill that same feeling in the students. I want to show them what’s possible, demonstrate how to play a musical instrument to a high standard, give them some musical goals to achieve and inspire them.

Whilst I worked at the school I saw the students develop and learn so much – using counting and simple maths in music helped their numerical skills and encouraging them to take turns in leading the class was great for their confidence and self-esteem.

But overall, in every lesson we had FUN! Sadly today little time and resources are given over to the study of music and this wonderful community skill is losing its strength. I feel it’s critical that programs such as this are taught in schools and I applaud Four Winds for bringing professional musicians in to work with students in local public schools. It is an extremely valuable initiative!”

GEOFFREY BADGER | Four Winds Artist in Schools 2018 | Singing

“I am passionate about music education – it’s every child’s birthright.

Every child can sing, and should sing. But the value of music education is not well understood in Australia and primary teachers lack the confidence to teach it as they have not been well prepared to do so.

When I go into schools I am amazed by what children can do and their innate ability to sing. And they love it so much. When I arrive the kids light up, they are so excited and respond so well.

I have seen music education change schools. Without music other learning and class management is difficult. Schools with strong music education programs are stronger schools.

For me the process of learning is important and performance in the right context can be empowering. I remember working with students who had only ever sung along to recorded music. I taught these young children to sing unaccompanied and they discovered their power through music. The kids looked so proud, they were able to show what they had achieved and they felt good about what they were doing. The feedback was huge and the parents and teachers were so moved”

LISA FREEDMAN Principal, Tathra Public School

“As the Principal of Tathra Public School I am dedicated to providing students with opportunities to develop through the creative and performing arts.

As far as music is concerned, I am particularly passionate and know from my own experience how much music education enhances learning across a range of areas: improving memory, increasing language development, enabling human connection and providing stress relief.

The opportunity to work with Geoffrey Badger (vocal instructor) and Greg Sheehan (percussionist) through the Four Winds program last year enabled us to deepen our commitment to providing quality creative learning opportunities for our students.

It further provided an opportunity for our students to connect with one another through singing, sound and movement. To be able to tap into the skills of these brilliant tutors provided staff with professional development that strengthened their capacity as educators.

Our students already enjoy music and performance but to be able to benefit from the added experiences that Four Winds provides, ensured a wider scope for learning and a richer experience for all involved.”

Unlock potential through Music

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If you were at our 2019 Easter Festival you may have read all about the Four Winds Create and Inspire program in the donor tent.

We are really keen that our whole community knows about the positive impact our Create and Inspire program is having on the lives of young people.

Over the coming weeks we will be sharing this story with you.

If you already share your passion for music by supporting our Create and Inspire program, thank you. We hope you enjoy reading about the impact your donation is having and why our work in this area is so essential.

If you are not already a donor please consider a tax deductible donation which will bring the joy of live music and music making to young people; it’s another way in which we can all share our passion for music.

Here is our first installment – Unlock Potential Through Music…


Unlock potential through music

create and inspireour music education program

…Our ambition is to transform and empower lives through music. We all know how music can change lives and our music education program has been designed to do just that. The Four Winds ‘Create and Inspire’ program encourages diversity in all its forms, empowers young people to think creatively and creates a powerful sense of belonging.

Our Commitment

Four Winds has an impressive history in delivering the very best in musical experiences in one of the most special coastal communities in Australia. We are committed to excellence, to becoming a world-leading arts making & learning place, and to making a creative contribution to an equitable community and society.

We are committed to the people of the NSW Far South Coast and recognise our role in encouraging, educating and inspiring the next generation through music.

Four Winds delivers access to the benefits of high-quality music education through its Artist-in-Schools program, the National Music Teacher Mentoring Program, the Youth Music Festival and through an annual calendar of events that take place at Nature’s Concert Hall. Underpinning it all is the notion of participation, performance, experience, reflection and artistic creation.

We invest in our young people

Four Winds believes that music is part of a well-rounded education and that our young people deserve the opportunity to make music part of their school day. That’s why we are working to bring music to our local classrooms.

Research points to the cognitive improvements associated with children learning music yet the availability of such life-changing music education programs in our schools on the Far South Coast of NSW is variable, with some public primary schools having limited or no access to music education programs. We want to address the inequity in the availability of quality music education for students in Australia. We don’t want our regional schools to miss out.

At Four Winds we believe that, through music education, children grow – not just musically but also socially, emotionally and intellectually and that it helps them to develop responsibility, self-esteem and purpose.

So Four Winds has launched a number of music education initiatives to support schools in our area and create opportunities for students to access music as a regular part of their school life, regardless of economic barriers.

What started out as a vision has now grown into a reality as we help our local students to realise their full potential through the power of making music. In time we want to enable every pre and primary school within our region to access music education.

While the Four Winds music education programs may well produce some musical stars of the future our greatest success might just be all those young people who don’t pursue music as a career but whose lives have been enriched by music as a result of our work. What we do matters!

You can make a Difference

‘Transforming this community through music… is one of the driving forces of Four Winds.’David Hewitt, composer, educator and Artistic Director Stonewave Taiko
‘The projects that our school has participated in with Four Winds, have greatly enriched the learning and lives of our students.’Leah Martin, Principal, Pambula Primary School
‘Music matters to enrich life’Sheena Boughen, Four Winds Lifetime Ambassador

Please click here to make your tax deductable donation and to share your passion for music with a young person – thank you

Images by Ben Marden Photography, Chris Sheedy, Marg Hansen